After 36 fabulous years Atlantic Canada Cycling is no longer doing tours. We are now spending our retirement years enjoying cycling and helping people make use of our knowledge of bicycle touring. If you wish to follow in the tracks of our tours fell free to ask us questions on this great cycling route.
Newfoundland Bicycle Tour
Welcome to the Newfoundland Bicycle Tour! Join us for what will certainly be a tour of discovery and adventure. This tour of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula will not be an everyday bike trip. It will be an excursion of rugged landscape and occasionally challenging elements. Those who accept nature’s challenge will be richly rewarded. To some, the Newfoundland Bicycle Tour will be a challenge, a goal and the satisfaction of completing it. To others, it will be a chance to renew and strengthen friendships, or to make new ones. For a great many, it will be the chance to explore an exotic location. For everyone, it will be an opportunity to see Newfoundland as no other form of travel can.
It will be perhaps the most inexpensive, not to mention fun, vacation of the island available. We have planned this trip with adventurous cyclists in mind. We will have seven full days of cycling, one partial day of biking before our transportation back and two rest/activity days. The tour will a full one, with 663 kilometers of biking (412 miles). The average will be 74 km (46 miles) per day. You can bicycle this amount in five hours or less of actual biking, leaving plenty of time for sightseeing and relaxing. Options will be available for extra cycling each day. Terrain on the western part of Newfoundland ranges from flat to rolling. Our days in Gros Morne National Park have several small mountains. These are challenging but feasible, even for moderate cyclists. Because of distances between communities and variable climate the Newfoundland Bicycle Tour preferably should be more than someone’s first bicycle trip. With the assistance of our support vehicle, we can offer a worry-free tour.
Participants on the Newfoundland Bicycle Tour will explore an area with frontier-like conditions, with long stretches of wilderness in between communities. Everyone, however, will find enough to eat and all our campgrounds will have warm showers. Known as “the rock”, Newfoundland is forested in its interior, but quite rocky and barren along the coast. Often there are barrens, with vegetation and conditions resembling Canada’s north. Winds can be strong. The prevailing direction is from the south, and strong tailwinds are expected for almost every day. We have opportunities to explore the fjords, and perhaps walk up Gros Morne itself! Turning northward at the ocean, we negotiate the park’s immense fjords. Our route then moves along the coast. We will spend several days winding around numerous bays and harbours. Once we get in sight of Labrador, we turn north-east and continue to the tip of the Island. Although sparsely settled, people have lived along this shore for over 9,000 years. Several important archaeological sites will be available for us to explore. Once reaching the very northern end of Newfoundland, we will visit the Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows.
Our tour ends at the only town found on our entire route, St. Anthony. We will no doubt spend our evening there with a wealth of stories from our tour. Early in the afternoon there will be a return shuttle to Deer Lake (included with tour registration).The Newfoundland Bicycle Tour will be a friendly event, with a great deal of socializing. Along the way, we will learn about Newfoundland’s long history, discover its rugged beauty, and experience what makes it distinct. This is a tour which will be both spectacular and memorable!
Day 2 – Trout River to Rocky Harbour
Day 3 – Activity Day in Gros Morne National Park
Day 4 – Rocky Harbour to Portland Creek
Day 5 – Portland Creek to Port au Choix
Day 6 – Port au Choix to St. Barbe
Day 7 – Day Ride to Labrador
Day 8 – St. Barbe to Pistolet Bay
Day 9 – Day Ride to St. Lunaire and l’Anse Aux Meadows
Day 10 – Pistolet Bay to St. Anthony; Transportation from St. Anthony to Deer Lake
Day 1 – Deer Lake to Trout River 90 km (56 mi.)
We begin our tour at the busy town of Deer Lake. We start off by going westward toward the coast. By late morning we will reach Gros Morne National Park. Taking the southern option of the two routes into the park, we will cross the “tablelands”, rocky barrens formed by the wearing down of very old mountains. The far end of the road at Trout River offers us an incredibly spectacular vista.
Day 2 – Trout River to Rocky Harbour 42 km (26 mi.)
Today we return through the tablelands to take a boat crossing to the northern side of the park. After a ride from we we disembark at Norris Point to Rocky Harbour, there will be time for a short hike, a swim at the pool, or perhaps some photography at the Lobster Cove lighthouse.
Day 3 – Activity Day in Gros Morne National Park
We will take a day to explore the National Park, viewing its magnificent fresh-water fjords and many pleasant trails. There are also kayaking and many photo-taking opportunities.
Day 4 – Rocky Harbour to Portland Creek 87 km (54 mi.)
Turning northward at the ocean, we negotiate past Gros Morne National Park’s immense fjords. There are several short hikes available as well as boat tours of the fjord at Western Brook Pond. We end not far from a small active Newfoundland fishing village.
Day 5 – Portland Creek to Port au Choix 86 km (54 mi.)
Enjoy the spectacular coastal scenery. The prevailing tailwinds are usually very strong at this point. There are several scenic look-offs today as well as an ecological reserve and an active salmon river. We end at the small seaport of Port au Choix. A national historic site, it is the location of one of the most important archaeological sites concerning the history of aboriginal people. The lighthouse stands at the furthest point west on the peninsula. It offers spectacular photography.
Day 6 – Port au Choix to St. Barbe 92 km (57 mi.)
We wind around numerous bays and harbours. People have lived along this shore for over 9,000 years. There is another important archaeological site at Bird Cove. We are now in sight of Labrador.
Day 7 – Day Ride to Labrador (various distances).
Today we take a boat ride to the immense territory of Labrador. The icy channel between the island and the mainland is home to whales, seabirds, and occasional icebergs. Remarkably different from Newfoundland, Labrador’s coast is treeless and extremely rugged. We explore along the rugged coast and return back to the island in the late afternoon.
Day 8 – St. Barbe to Pistolet Bay 125 km (78 mi.)
We turn north-east to cross a long barren lonely stretch of Newfoundland’s northern interior. The vegetation and conditions here resemble that of Canada’s north. A diversion allows us to go to the far northern tip of Newfoundland. This is the longest day of any Atlantic Canada Cycling tour. It passes through a wilderness area with very few services. The usual prevailing tailwind should lessen the effort here rounding the tip of the island. As we do every day, and especially for this long day, our support vehicle will along the route, offering assistance and rides for anyone desiring to shorten the distance. We camp in an attractive forest setting.
Day 9 – Day Ride to St. Lunaire and l’Anse Aux Meadows 74 km (46 mi.)
Today we go to L’anse aux Meadows, site of the discovery of Viking life in North America. A UNESCO world heritage site, we will experience what life was like 1000 years ago. We also explore the traditional Newfoundland fishing village of St. Lunaire and several others. It is our last night together – let’s party!
Day 10 – Pistolet Bay to St. Anthony 28 km (17 mi.) and transportation from St. Anthony to Deer Lake
Our last day. It is on to St. Anthony, and the end of our tour. We manage to get a few hours of cycling in before departure and ride to the tip of the island. The view is incredible, one of the best of the trip, with good chances of spotting icebergs.
We gather for last photographs together overlooking the cliffs, before boarding arranged transportation back to Deer Lake. This transportation from our end point of cycling at St. Anthony back to Deer Lake is included with your registration. It leaves St. Anthony late in the morning and arrives in Deer Lake in late afternoon (we will not arrive at Deer Lake until late afternoon, do not book an early flight out). An optional ACC shuttle to Nova Scotia leaves the next morning from Newfoundland. Contact us well in advance if you may want to be part of this option.